Ghufran Ashor, a MEPI’s Tomorrow’s Leaders LAU alumna from Libya, graduated in Spring 2019 and began her search for the right post-graduation job. She sought a role that would serve purpose and allow her to make a difference. After an excessive job search, Ashor landed a job that matched her skills and aspirations perfectly. In June 2019, Ashor joined the BBC’s international charity: BBC Media Action (BBC MA).
Fulfilling the role of Business Coordinator, Ashor works at “El Kul” (Everyone), the Libya project for BBC MA. El Kul is a leading social media platform that promotes a more unified, non-violent, and inclusive Libya. The platform provides its more than one million followers (20% of all Libyan Facebook users) with original content that helps celebrate diversity, encourage open dialogue, and promote women’s inclusion in society.
In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Ashor along with El Kul’s Project Manager, Elise Ketelaars, expanded their work scope and came up with a tool to raise awareness about the pandemic among Libyans. They created a weekly e-newsletter that equips Libyans with accurate COVID-19 related health advice in line with The World Health Organization’s (WHO) standards and provides impartial reporting about Libya’s response to the crisis to dispel myths and rumors. Ashor and her colleague produced this messaging tool with the clear objective of providing a sense of shared experience, community, and social connection at a time that can be divisive and isolating.
Additionally, Ashor led on the facilitation of the BBC lifeline training on how to respond to the emergency situation created by the pandemic. The training is designed to support media practitioners to provide trusted, accurate, and timely information for affected and at-risk people. Her team has already trained over 30 journalists from nine Libyan media organizations.
Ashor’s efforts did not only help raise awareness about the pandemic and prevention measures, but also in expanding networks and relationships with local and international organizations which will open doors for greater collaboration in the near future.